In less than a month, President Barack Obama will be sworn in for a second term. It comes after a long, and expensive race in a year when the GOP was confident the president would be limited to just four years in office. NY1's Josh Robin takes a look back at the race for the White House and filed the following report.
Despite the cheers, President Barack Obama had no lock on re-election. This, with unemployment often above eight percent and questions about an attack in Libya.
A Supreme Court ruling about campaign spending also had Republicans using unprecedented amounts to defeat him.
On the other side, Mitt Romney benefitted from bold-face names opting not to run. Republicans still had choices each seeming to enjoy their time atop polls.
But Romney's blistering ads helped land him the nod. Still, getting there had him shift to the right. That would haunt him, especially on immigration, where Obama had courted a growing Hispanic population.
Romney also gave plenty of opportunities to be painted out of touch.
The former business executive said his experience would appeal to a nation eager for work.
Jobs and debt were stressed in his storm-shortened convention in Tampa. Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan officially became his running-mate, showcasing a younger GOP. But 82-year-old Clint Eastwood had people out of their seats talking to an imaginary president.
The race between the real candidates was close for much of the fall.
If it were held right after their first debate, Mitt Romney might well have been president-elect.
There were other jokes: Romney helped hatch an Obama ad when he vowed to slash Sesame Street's subsidies.
Behind the scenes, Romney couldn't match Obama in identifying voters, and getting them to vote early.
The president won women, Latinos and the young. Leadership during Hurricane Sandy also earned him bipartisan praise.
Obama is now responding to a second tragedy -- the shootings in Connecticut -- which has him vowing to limit gun violence.
He will be sworn in at the U.S. Capitol on January 21.